The Oxnard Elementary School District took the first step Wednesday toward adopting a dress code that would prohibit children in kindergarten through eighth grade from wearing clothing or accessories that symbolize gang membership or affiliation.
There have been no recent incidents of gang activity in the schools, said Richard Duarte, director of pupil services for the district. But because of Oxnard's proximity to Los Angeles, the district wants the code in place in case it is needed, he said.
A similar dress code is in effect in Oxnard high schools.
The school board Wednesday gave preliminary approval to the dress code. The proposal is scheduled for final adoption April 25.
If approved, the dress code would bar the district's 12,000 pupils from wearing such items as bandannas or sashes bearing gang colors, T-shirts displaying gang slogans or any other items that are perceived to represent affiliation.
Under the code, articles of clothing advocating drug or alcohol use would also be banned. These would include T-shirts with slogans referring to substance use, jewelry in the shape of marijuana leaves or cocaine spoons.
"If any article of clothing is disruptive to the orderly process of a classroom, then the student will be sent to a site administrator," Duarte said. Items such as halter tops, bare midriffs, "skirts or attire which expose any portion of the student's undergarments or body areas normally covered" would be prohibited. Clothing with slogans such as "Question Authority" may also be prohibited, depending on the site administrator's decision, Duarte said.